March 11, 2015 at 1:45AM

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WHICH CAMERA STABILIZER DO YOU TAKE? WHY?

For more than three decades Steadicam has represented the vanguard of mobile, off-tripod camera support technology. There’s been little challenge from new technology in the intervening years.
Like anything in the production industry, new technologies and equipment come and go in crazes. Recent years’ big talking point has definitely come from the introduction of the handheld, 3-axis camera stabilizer. When Freefly first released their revolutionary brush-less gimbal technology, in their Movi M10 it turned a lot of heads in the industry.

http://freeflysystems.com/products/movi/m10/ (link is external)

When the MōVI came to market, it changed the video world instantly. It was, quite simply, an unimaginably amazing stabilization rig that looked to defy physics.
It didn’t take long that other manufacturers seen a gap in the market and could utilize Freefly’s pricey rigs with lower costing rigs of their own. Some designs however are clearly lacking the precision and durability. However, this is not the case for all of the copycats out there. Ronin and MOZA for example.

http://www.dji.com/cn/product/ronin (link is external)
http://www.gudsen.com/moza-gimbal.html (link is external)

As technology advances, it’s normal for photographers and cinematographers to use smaller and lighter DSLRS to shooting videos, such as Sony A7s GH4 and Canon 5D. They requires light-weighting and portable camera stabilizer too.
What camera stabilizer do you use? Do you find it useful? What’s your opinion?

9 Comments

Merlin are good. Very sensitive.

March 11, 2015 at 3:32AM

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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7706

The first gimbal I buy will probably be something like the $700 Nebula 4000 pistol-grip gimbal. I expect this market segment to heat up big time over the next year, as it's a cheap and very effective stabilizer solution for the GH4 and A7S cameras.

There is a rumor that there will be Nebula 4000 competitor at this year's NAB 2015 show, and I don't mind paying more if the tech is more mature than the Nebula 4000.

March 11, 2015 at 1:59PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30238

Yes. I'm expecting to see what amazing things will show on NAB 2015. Light version but high tech involved. Especially for Gopro or GH4, SonyA7.

March 12, 2015 at 1:41AM

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Queena Wong
Web Editor
223

I'm in the same boat as Guy here. Right now I have the Autopilot stabilizer from ProAm USA and the Rhino Rig. I still haven't mastered the steadicam-like mechanism of the Autopilot, but the Rhino is neat because you can turn it into a shoulder mount and other configurations. If and when I get a gimbal, I'll be looking into the pistol-grip one from Nebula because 1. Cheap 2. Effective 3. Won't draw as much attention as Movi or the like.

March 12, 2015 at 9:53AM

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Torsten Pearson
Writer-Director-Editor
303

I bought a MOZA for my Sony A7s. $ 2245 with free DHL express and free monitor. I think its wireless thumb controller is brilliant and amazing for remote REC and FOCUS. Also a built-in wireless transmitter makes it easy to view the video. I’m testing it and find it easy to set-up and balance.

March 12, 2015 at 1:33AM

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This is the first I've heard of the Moza, so I haven't even seen it reviewed anywhere yet. It looks promising, especially with the price and payload capacity, not to mention the integrated wireless video, which isn't really optional for film work with a gimbal. Its weight capacity looks like it would be fine for a mid-size camera with a follow focus.
I have a Letus Helix, and I've played with a Ronin, and I'm very impressed with both. The Ronin is heavy, though not as heavy as I expected, and the Helix is small and relatively light compared to what it can carry, but it's also very expensive and very nicely built... but doesn't include wireless video.
Regarding the Moza, I'd hunt for some reviews, there will probably be some sooner or later.
The wireless video transmitter could be a big selling point for the Moza, unles it's flaky and unreliable, in which case it's a non-feature, though at its price, even without it it's a pretty good value if it's well built and performs well.
No matter which one you get though, be prepared to spend some time learning to balance and wield it. It does take some practice no matter which gimbal you use, and make sure that you account for a follow focus to go with it. You'll need one of those, as well.

March 13, 2015 at 1:27AM

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Lyn Nie
DP
88

First Impression and Five Point Review:
1. MOZA Case = Rigid, professional look, have wheels and handle. Components are arranged in two layers (top and bottom).
2. Gimbal = Very neat finish, no wire hanging, professional look and quality material used. Easy pack and unpack design...
3. Intelligent Battery = Battery charged in approx less then 2 hours. Built quality is nice like the DJI IB.
4. Wireless Remote = A big plus and doesn't look cheap or for the sake of marketing. Charging using iPAD power adapter - 2 hours+ and charger showing 50% charged.
5. Pouch with accessories , cables, etc and tool less balancing looks very tempting . The gimbal stand is rock solid.. a notch or two better then Came-TV stand.

March 18, 2015 at 10:37PM, Edited March 18, 10:37PM

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>>>but for now the footage I saw from the nebula doesn't look very natural (you can tell when someone is walking for ex.). And it's also very much time consuming to calibrate.

It's first generation tech, so I'm waiting for a better version of the pistol grip gimbal to come along. I have seen some very nice footage shot with it, but it's largely dependent on the operator to smooth out their walk. I really like the compactness of the pistol-grip design.

>>>I would spend 2k for a 3axis gimbal under 2kg, with auto calibration, and 2k load.

The CAME 8000 looks like it might meet your criteria, but I haven't seen any footage shot with it yet.

March 12, 2015 at 8:58AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30238

Here's a competitor to the Nebula 4000 that is going to launch in April 2015...

PilotFly H1 MicroDSLR 3-axis Stabilizer
http://copter-rc.com/en/catalog/60-pilotfly-h1-microdslr-3asix-stabilize...

March 16, 2015 at 3:56PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30238

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